Introduction from A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! [Video] (1:05)

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Watch this entire presentation

Introduction from A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!  



Thank you very much. It’s very cool to have this exhibit. It’s very exciting to think about the work of screenwriters as something that’s culturally of value to us. That obviously interests me, because that’s what I work on here at the university. So, I’m really excited to be talking about this and when you think about adaptations as I talked to Patricia I said “Well, we’re going to talk about a slew of different film adaptations across time. Why changes that were made were made. Of course, we’re going to talk about several, so we’re going to hit on them all a little bit. Then I have some stuff up front, if you want to look at them later. Obviously some books that have been turned into films as well as, recently, at the very end, we’ll talk about “The Martian” and a small, one of the small changes they made to that, which has a big, big, ripple effect and I think that’s a problem when people don’t look at the books first or, at least, afterwards. When I was a kid, you saw the movie and then you went to the library and got the book and that was how you got the rest of the story and I think that was really the plan and I hope that people today use movies in that way — to expand the information and the introduction to the book.

About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.  In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University.  She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Her upcoming book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture” will be published in Fall 2016

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter

Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

Why The Monkees Matter Now Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

Amazon Pre-Orders Now Available!

I am proud to announce that “Why The Monkees Mattered” is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Pre-Order “Why The Monkees Matter” from

Why The Monkees Matter is now scheduled for publication for Fall 2016, just in time to gift it to your favorite Monkee’s Fans among your friends and family…and, of course, a copy for yourself, too!

I’ll send out more information about the book as it happens. You can also join the Monkees discussion on my Facebook Page, Why The Monkees Matter.

Read more about “Why The Monkees Matter”, including chapter titles and more

News: Professors Give American Women Their Own Historic Focus | PolyCentric

It is always fun to work with student journalists – this is a story written by one from CalPoly Pomona about the 4 volume encyclopedia my colleague Peg Lamphier and I co-edited for ABC-CLIO over the last three years – it is now available for pre-order by high school and college libraries (and any individuals who like to college encyclopedias or books about cool women!)

Professors Give American Women Their Own Historic Focus | PolyCentric | Carly Owens


There’s a proverb that says “women hold up half the sky,” a centuries-old homage to the vital role women play.

Cal Poly Pomona Professors Rosanne Welch and Peg Lamphier have compiled those historic feats in a new encyclopedia titled “Women in American History.”

The four-volume set covers pre-colonial history to modern-day feminism.

“It’s women in American history and culture, so we thought about what kind of women don’t normally get into encyclopedias to ensure there was a great diversity expressed,” says Welch, who holds a doctorate in American social history of the 21st century.

Some women who are included in the compilation are ones people may not expect to see in an encyclopedia.

“Lady Gaga hasn’t made many encyclopedias, but her philanthropy and influence on media earned her a place in the book,” Welch says.

Read the entire article

Out of the Research Vault: The Monkees In Melbourne, Australia 1968 [Video]

A taste of Monkeemania at it’s height in Melbourne in 1968.  

Once you pass the first minute of fans screaming as the foursome descends their DC-9, the footage moves to a press conference where Mickey predicts they will perform in different variations in the years to come – trios, duos, etc. – much as it has all played out…. How did he know?

Monkees melbourne 1968

From AussieTVOne

Who Wrote The Monkees? – “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman

Who Wrote The Monkees? – “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman Part 4 of an on-going series

This weekend Antenna TV airs “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman. One of several staff writers for The Monkees who went on to win Emmy Awards for her later work in television (Her Emmy came from The Mary Tyler Moore Show). Treva was the only woman writer on the The Monkees.

Who Wrote The Monkees? –

Little song monkees


If you’re interested in learning more about Treva’s post Monkees work, the blog “…by Ken Levine” did a nice coverage of her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, complete with some script pages and a whole page of biography noting that Valerie Harper (Rhoda) called Treva the “Feminist conscience of the show”. In my book, I write that Treva brought that same feminist conscience to The Monkees where viewers can note that none of the young women the Monkees dated were ever ditzy – they were always women of substance – serious about their schoolwork or with careers already in place or otherwise involved in the world. Not bad for a show about four band members. I believe that attitude came to The Monkees from Treva – the only female writer on staff.


More information on The Monkees:

Previously in Who Wrote The Monkees?:

Funky Monkees Cover of Detroit Free Press Weekly Magazine TV Channels, 1967 via

Came across this in my Internet travels and I hadn’t seen it before. This is a very funky, caricature-style of the 4 lads and quite unlike anything else I have ever seen.

Funky Monkees Cover of Detroit Free Press TV Times

Click for larger image


Behind The Scenes with The Monkees On The Set from Big Glee: The Albert Bryan Bigley Archives

In her coverage of a day at the set of The Monkees, Gloria Malerba was able to show her (largely teen) readers how much hard work goes into filming a television show – and how many people are employed by such a hit show. 

I particularly like the photo on the lower left of Davy Jones in costume taking “a last minute look at the script’ – a nice reminder that as often as we hear the show as ‘all ad-libbed’ – it was not.  Writers conceived the characters and conflicts and then wrote dialogue for each of the regular stars.

Monkees bigglee 1

Image: Big Glee: The Albert Bryan Bigley Archives – Click for larger image

My Favorite Book of Letters Between Writers, Cheever’s Glad Tidings


Answering another friend’s Facebook post reminded me today of one of my favorite books of letters between writers is between Cheever and John Weaver.

I stumbled upon Glad Tidings: A Friendship in Letters : The Correspondence of John Cheever and John D. Weaver, 1945-1982 many years ago at a used bookstore and deeply enjoyed reading how these two writers discussed their work and the origins of their most famous projects.

Of course, Cheever was also writing to Harriet Weaver but the editors left her name off the title, so it’s also a good look at how the Weaver marriage operated (in the same way The Letters of S.J. Perlemnan became a look at the marriage of Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell since he wrote so often to them).

What I enjoyed most was the inside look Cheever gave of coming to Hollywood when a studio adapted his story The Swimmer into a film – Weaver had much more experience living in Los Angeles as a writer of local histories so he helped Cheever navigate La-La-Land.

If you don’t know either of these writers, a selection of Cheever’s short stories, The Stories of John Cheever, won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (not too shabby) and John D. Weaver’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times tells you how important he was: “Weaver wrote two novels and eight nonfiction books, including one that helped change history: “The Brownsville Raid,” a 1970 book that led to the exoneration of 167 black soldiers who had been discharged without honor 64 years earlier.”

Both are well worth reading – as is Glad Tidings. Check them out.

When I First Met Davy Jones: Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio – June 7, 1986 [Photo]

In my last Summer in Cleveland, just weeks before I got married and moved to Los Angeles, The Monkees played as part of a large event at Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

My soon-to-be husband caught this photo of us during raucous after-party. This is a cropped version of a larger photo as Davy was literally surrounded by people during the entire event.

Rmw davy jones 1986 cropped

Day Jones, Rosanne Welch at Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio, June 7, 1986

Diane Sawyer’s Obituary to Davy Jones 2012 [Video]

In memory of the anniversary of the loss of Davy Jones in 2012 I wanted to post this newscast by Diane Sawyer where she spoke of the news as “startling bulletin” which came across her desk in the newsroom that day (February 29, 2012).  Sawyer then proclaimed “He is still that forever young and sunny singer from The Monkees who made more than one generation want to sing along.”


The question I ask in the book is why would a serious journalist (not merely an entertainment reporter) consider news of the death of a former teen idol ‘startling’ unless she, too, had once been among his fans? To me it speaks volumes about how he – and The Monkees – effected all our lives.

You can join The Monkees Discussion on my Why The Monkees Mattered Facebook Page